HFT Summer Academy

The HFT Summer Academy "Syllabus"

Welcome to the Hybrid-Flexible Teaching Summer Academy! This 10-week professional development experience has been created by the School of Education and Human Development, in cooperation with ThinqStudio and Digital Pedagogy Lab. The academy is designed to provide CU Denver faculty and graduate students an opportunity to:

  • Define for themselves hybrid-flexible or online teaching methods that most closely align with their teaching style.
  • Make meaningful changes for their Fall 2020 courses, whether those courses will be taught online, on-ground, or in a hybrid-flexible format.
  • Understand the primary technologies and methodologies used for hybrid-flexible or online teaching.
  • Bring into conversation instructors’ pedagogy and the technologies of digitally-inflected learning environments.
  • Build a strong, agile pedagogical self in digital space.

This post includes some orientation information for the academy. Think of this as a kind of syllabus—long, but worth paying attention to. So, if you’re joining us for the summer, read on!

How the Academy is Designed

The HFT Summer Academy is designed as a fully online experience with both synchronous and asynchronous components. As a participant, you will be able to join in online activities, read and annotate articles about hybrid pedagogy, work in the Canvas LMS, and attend weekly office hours held in Zoom. Much of the summer academy is open access and takes place on the open web, and is not constrained by the boundaries of the LMS. This is in keeping with the hybrid-flexible model of teaching and learning, for which one of the primary characteristics is that learning goes where you go, and learners always have multiple points of entry.

You will be using the following digital platforms for the summer academy:

  • Canvas (you’ll be invited to the HFT Canvas course a little later)
  • Google Docs
  • Hypothes.is (if you don’t know what this is, don’t worry)
  • Zoom

And the main entry point—the “home” of the academy—is the ThinqStudio site, built on the Ghost blogging platform.

Think about the academy as a classroom with workstations. At one station, there are blog posts and recommended readings for each week; at another, Canvas; at another we gather around to annotate the web using Hypothesis. Throughout the summer, you will be free to move from workstation to workstation, depending on your need or desire path.

How the Learning is Designed

The learning design behind the academy is aimed at giving you as personalized and useful an experience as possible. While it does not mimic the usual online course offered at the university, it does work to model the kinds of hybrid approaches to teaching and learning that will prove helpful (and possibly necessary) in the Fall 2020 semester.

The academy is a resource with a timeline. Here, you will find lots of places to dive in and explore in depth the pedagogies, practices, and platforms related to online and hybrid teaching. You’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at design, using new tools, discover best practices, and more. Things will unfold week by week (see the schedule below), and you can choose to keep up, or you can go at your own pace, returning to the materials from past weeks whenever you wish.

That said, there is a pattern to the weeks ahead. The learning is not so much “scaffolded” as it is a narration, with some ideas coming before other ideas for the sake of literacy. But you can still choose your own adventure. In fact, I encourage you to consider a project for the summer, something you want to walk away with at the end of our ten weeks. That could be a newly designed course, a rewritten syllabus, proficiency with a particular tool, etc. It’s up to you; but if you decide on a project, make sure it’s related to how you’ll be teaching this Fall.

You are the captain of your own learning this summer. Though I will be checking in on a regular basis, I will not be checking “up” on you.

What to Expect Each Week

Each week will begin with a blog post and a video from me to set the theme for the week and get you started on reading and activities. Mid-week, you’ll see another blog post, usually from a “guest lecturer,” offering other insights and perspectives. And the week will wrap up with Zoom office hours (for which you’ll need to register) where we can jump into conversations with one another.

Throughout the week, you’ll be reading, joining in collaborative, social annotation, experimenting with some activities, and possibly doing some writing yourself. You can commit as much or as little time to the academy each week as suits you.

Your participation and contribution to our learning will come in the form of: comments on blog posts, Hypothesis annotations, discussions during office hours, collaboration on activities... and, if you feel inclined, your own blog writing to be posted on the HFT site.

I will be your primary facilitator for the academy, and so don’t hesitate to reach out to me when you need help. There will be other voices in the mix, too—some faculty, some students—and they’ll be available to guide you along when you need support.

Getting Started Checklist

Before you get started, make sure you’ve completed the following items:

  1. Complete the My HFT Summer Academy Goals form. (This is optional and only designed to help you set and keep track of your intended outcomes.)
  2. Sign up for a Hypothes.is account and / or accept the invitation to the HFT Hypothes.is group.
  3. Learn a little about how Hypothes.is works.
  4. Install the Hypothes.is browser extension.
  5. Register for Zoom office hours.
  6. Bookmark the HFT main site.

That’s all for now! See you online soon!

Author image

About Sean Michael Morris

Sean Michael Morris is the Director of Digital Pedagogy Lab and Senior Instructor in Learning, Design, and Technology at the University of Colorado Denver.
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